Guest gave me three stars because he couldn't find parking easily

A recent guest gave me three stars in the check-in category because it took him several minutes to find parking in the heart of Washington, DC. I warn guests that finding parking in the area is challenging. Heck it is challenging for me too!

Now, I don’t mind getting dinged for things I can control and can/should remedy. But as much as I wish I could make finding parking in the city a breeze, I cannot.

I called Airbnb to find out if this review can be removed, since it appears rather unfair I am getting dinged over something that I cannot control and about which I warn guests. The rep I spoke to said the review cannot be removed. But I wanted to find out:

  1. If any hosts have been able to have a review removed under similar circumstances.
  2. If any hosts have any strategies for making it even more abundantly clear to guests that finding parking in a city can be hard.

I’ve been on this forum for 4 years and there and hundreds of posts about unfair reviews. It’s usually about location, another thing we can’t change that is chosen by the guest and we get blamed. Another common complaint is that guest don’t read. So I assume you don’t have parking listed as an amenity, right?

I have “Free Street Parking” selected as an amenity…

Remove this. Those are promised amenities and if they aren’t available it’s legit for a guest to ding you or even get a free cancellation. I know thats unfair in an urban area but you asked how to get it across to guests and that’s my suggestion.

Also put in the listing that street parking exists but is hard to find. If anyone asks about it before booking tell them the name and rates of the closest paid parking.


Too bad about 3 stars for parking issues, but you sort of brought it on yourself by promising Free Street Parking as an amenity – which you obviously can’t promise right by your place.

Yep and it’s very very rare that the outcome was a removed review. The general answer from Airbnb seems to be that the review is the guest’s impression about what the stay was like and therefore if he found it hard to park, then he was only telling the truth. After all guests are encouraged to be honest - just as we are when we’re reviewing them :slight_smile:

As others have said, don’t promise an amenity if you can’t guarantee it.

I agree with the others. I would not list parking as an amenity, and would say that parking can be hard to find. As a visitor I don’t know how difficult parking might be even in an “urban” environment. I subscribe to “under promise and over deliver”. It is the same reason I don’t list A/C as an amenity in my unit; because it’s a portable unit that might not cool to the extent some people might expect on some really hot days. I don’t want to get dinged for that.

Hmm. I understand what you are saying but I don’t see it as equivalent.

The OP is not in control of the street parking and it’s rare where he lives. One should not offer something that isn’t usually available. I could list street parking because I’m on an empty residential street where there is street parking 99.9% of the time. You however are providing AC. As long as you have all the summer bookings you want, don’t worry about it but if it slows down you might consider adding it. I stayed with a friend in Portland this past August and it was hot the first day I was there. If I were to vacation in that area in the hot season I’d filter for AC.

I think one detail I was not clear about is that what I am offering guests is a free parking pass. Without that pass they would not be able to park on the street in DC. (Well they could, but they would be ticketed every 2 hours by parking enforcement.)

There is no option in the amenities list for a parking pass. And in my description I make it clear to guests that parking is difficult to find, and I explain the way the parking pass works. So again I’m not promising parking, I am promising them a free parking pass that allows them to park on the street.

Guests being guests though, it’s easy to understand how that could be misinterpreted. I tend to discuss parking with guests in the early stages (we have one parking space per rental) and that would be the ideal time for you to discuss the situation with your guests. The advantage is that you can discuss it on the Airbnb platform so you have ‘ammunition’ should you require it.

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I do send a detailed message about parking. :slight_smile:

Excellent :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile: :slight_smile:

Which they still pay no attention to :joy::joy::joy:


That’s a conundrum then. If I were in that situation I would continue to check the street parking box and just eat the occasional lower star ranking because I think people will be searching with that filter on and you don’t want to miss out on those bookings. Maybe you should start meeting guests in person and when you hand them the pass have a talk with them about the parking.

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Yes, I don’t want people that filter for A/C. I do have a photo of the A/C unit in my listing, but it really doesn’t do a great job of cooling on really hot days because the building and windows are older and face west (with an amazing view). The electrical is such that I can’t add a second unit without blowing the circuit breaker. I’m just too paranoid that someone will be dissatisfied. We are trying to figure out a plan for the upcoming summer. I want to put light blocking curtains (double purpose for anyone sleeping in the living room) that will also block some heat, but the problem is the heat is baseboard and the windows go all the way to the baseboard heater. How can we hang curtains without it being a fire hazard? It’s a real dilemma…eventually we probably need to replace the windows completely as only one of them opens for airflow.

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Shades or wood shutter? Or is that what you have now?

Right now we just have blinds. We like the blinds because people can have them down but can tilt them to enjoy the view if they don’t want to raise them completely.

Maybe put curtains up only in summer?

Yes, that is what I am thinking also. We’ll just put them up during the hottest months and turn the circuit breaker for that heater off. We’ll let the guests know of course in case we get some strange person that thinks they need heat. At least until we come up with a more permanent solution (new windows…or we have thought about putting juliet balconies as regular balconies would be way too cost prohibitive) so they can get better airflow. We would do it in all the upper units (6) though so we need to figure out if we’ll get a return on investment, but maybe with global warming it’d be worth it. My husband also threatens to tear the whole building down and build new so we’ll see.

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Have you thought about some sort of insulating film that can be put on the windows?